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Mbeki urges Zimbabweans to have free, fair election run-off

by Bathandwa Mbola
on 05 Jun 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

President Thabo Mbeki has urged the government and the people of Zimbabwe to ensure that the forthcoming Presidential run-off is free and fair.

In a statement from the Presidency on Thursday, President Mbeki urged all parties to activate joint monitoring mechanisms as part of creating an environment conducive to holding free and fair elections.

The election run-off date is set for 27 June, this after the initial presidential balloting was inconclusive and marred by allegations of fraud and vote rigging.

"President Mbeki appeals for calmness and proportionate use of language, the better to manage tensions which are generally associated with election campaigns in many parts of the world," the Presidency said.

The statement follows Wednesday's detention of Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai who was later released without being charged.

The Zimbabwean Police said they detained Mr Tsvangirai to probe his vehicle particulars.

According to the Presidency, upon being informed by the MDC of the arrest of its leader, President Mbeki on his capacity as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator immediately contacted the government of Zimbabwe to ascertain the circumstances of the arrest.

President Mbeki was mandated by SADC to facilitate talks between the opposition leader and current President Robert Mugabe.

In line with SADC decisions President Mbeki further urged all parties to activate joint monitoring mechanisms as part of creating an environment conducive to the holding of free and fair elections. - BuaNews

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